Dr. Rebecca Biton

PhD. ThesisAn Archaeozoological Study of Amphibians and Reptiles from Pleistocene Archaeological Sites in the Hula Valley, Israel

Name of Supervisor: Dr. Rivka Rabinovich – Hebrew University, Jerusalem. National Natural History Collections of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Institute of Earth Sciences and the Institute of Archaeology

Amphibian and reptiles form a substantial component of the zooarchaeological archaeozoological assemblages, and have considerable potential for providing significant information on environmental and anthropological-related topics. Nevertheless research of these two groups has been less than vigorous, while research concentrated primarily on mammals. My Ph.D. dissertation focused on three archaeological sites in the Hula Valley: Gesher Benot Ya’aqov (780,000 B.P.), Nahal Mahanayeem Outlet (65,000 B.P.) and Eynan (12,000 B.P.). The study had three objectives:

To identify for the first time the amphibians and reptiles in the fossil record of the Hula Valley from 780,000 to 12,000 B.P.

To clarify the interactions of humans with amphibians and reptiles, identify marks of exploitation, and if they exist, understand their meaning.

To shed light on possible climatic and environmental changes in the Hula Valley as indicated by amphibians and reptiles.

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